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Caiger-Smith, Alan

Born 1930, Argentina

Born in Buenos Aires to British parents, Alan Caiger-Smith returned to the UK as a small child. He studied painting and drawing at the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts from 1947-48 before going to Cambridge to read History and English Literature. In 1954 he attended evening classes in ceramics at the Central School of Art and Design where, under the guidance of Dora Billington, he began making tin glazed earthenware.

He founded Aldermaston Pottery in 1955, one of the last working studios of its type in the UK, It closed in 1993. He is best known for introducing and developing lustre techniques, and for the style of decoration of his tin-glaze earthenware. A substantial group of his workshop pieces was given to Great Dixter, Kent, where it is on public view, as part of the Acceptance in Lieu Cultural Gifts scheme.

Alan Caiger-Smith wrote three books. Tin-Glaze Pottery (1973) examines its history and techniques. He co-translated and annotated with R.W. Lightbown a contemporary manual on Renaissance maiolica: Cipriano Piccolpasso's Tre Libre Dell'Arte Del Vasaio (The Three Books of the Potter’s Art) (1980). His third book, Lustre Pottery, was published in 1985.

His lustre pottery was the subject of an exhibition organised by the City Museum, Stoke-on-Trent in 1985. His work is in the collections of the Crafts Council and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Teapot with Cane Handle
Large Dish